Pianic Stations!

I’ve always wanted to play the piano. Seven or eight years ago I started taking lessons, but then I quit. I’m sure at the time I had some acceptable excuse but I’m pretty sure the real reason is that I was afraid to practice. I had moved into a house that was divided into three apartments and I felt so conspicuous every time I touched a piano key. I was afraid they would hear me making mistakes. Silly, silly Jenny.

I started taking lessons again in January and I’m really enjoying it! I practice at home where my husband, brother and cats can hear me and it doesn’t bother me. It might bother them, but I’m cool with that. I don’t practice enough, but not because I’m afraid so I figure that counts as a win!

The weirdest part about the whole thing is my weekly panic when I’m having my lesson. When I first started I would get extremely nervous before my lesson. That is abating now. I still get nervous but it’s not enough to make me want to avoid it. The part that hasn’t gone away is the part where I’m sitting at the piano and working my way through a song and all of a sudden I stare at the page and nothing makes sense. I can’t remember the notes. Even if I just played the same note a second before … nothing. Blanksville.  I usually start to giggle or say something silly so my teacher doesn’t wonder why I’m just sitting there frozen, while in my head I’m frantically trying to remember what note it is I’m looking at. Is it a B?  No, it’s not a B!  Is that my left hand or my right hand!  Ahhhhhh!!!  My teacher always tells me to take my time and eventually I unfreeze and we carry on.

Last week was the best one so far because I was playing and then I froze, my mind emptied and I started to freak out. I actually said, “I’m having a minor panic attack!” and my teacher said to me, “Take your time. It’s not worth it! It’s just the piano!” She’s awesome. Her name is Amy and she’s the sweetest girl around. I would put her picture in here but she might not appreciate it. 🙂

Keep in mind people, these lessons are only 30 minutes. So I sit, play, panic, relax, play, possibly panic again … all in the span of one half hour. It’s exhausting and exhilarating!

I always have a huge smile on my face when I leave and I feel amazing and light on my feet and I think I have figured out why!

Something like a simple piano lesson for someone with depression & anxiety issues is akin to a normy skydiving or bungee jumping. I get my adrenaline rush from the fact that a) I actually attended my lesson and didn’t wuss out and b) I played songs on a piano mofos!!  It’s an amazing rush and so much safer than extreme sports!

Happy Piano

It’s worth the pianicking!